American Cleaning Institute Response to New York State Legislation on Liquid Laundry Packets
- Bill Unnecessary; Companies Have Made Changes to Reduce Accident Rates
- Detergent Manufacturers Are Fully Committed to Reducing Incidents Related to Laundry Packets and Have Made Significant Changes to the Products and Packaging
- More than 99% of Liquid Laundry Packets Being Shipped in Compliance With New ASTM Safety Standard
- As With Any Household Cleaning Product, Safe Use and Storage of Laundry Packets is Essential
Washington, DC, February 6, 2018 – The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI) issued the following statement in response to proposed legislation in New York State legislative dealing with liquid laundry detergent packets:
"The American Cleaning Institute is aware of a recent New York state legislative proposal addressing liquid detergent packets. The fact is, legislation is unnecessary because there are already comprehensive activities taking place addressing the safety of detergent packets.
"Manufacturers of liquid laundry detergent packets are fully committed to reducing accidental exposures to these products, which are used safely in homes across all the United States, including those in the state of New York.
"Manufacturers have already made major changes to their packaging including the harder to open packaging, the addition of easy-to-understand safety icons, improving warning labels to advise proper use and storage instructions.
"Manufacturers of these products are also actively engaged with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to coordinate actions to reduce accidents.
"ACI joined consumer advocates and manufacturers in developing a voluntary safety standard for liquid laundry packets, which was published in December 2015 by the standards-setting body ASTM International. The standard contains a strong set of package and product design interventions supported by science and research that are intended to reduce accidental exposure to liquid laundry packets.
It is important to note that, by the end of 2016, more than 99 percent of all liquid laundry packets shipped to retailers were in compliance with the ASTM standard. ASTM International has a process in place to monitor these interventions and determine their impact on reducing accidents.
Additionally, ACI launched PACKETS UP!, a consumer education initiative as part of industry’s ongoing effort to help reduce the number of accidents related to liquid laundry packets. As part of its PACKETS UP! program, ACI launched an educational microsite, PACKETSUP.com, which offers resources to encourage safe laundry room practices."
Recent media coverage serves to remind all of us to keep liquid laundry packets – and all household cleaning products – out of sight and reach of young children, as well as locked away for those adults living with Alzheimer’s disease and/or other dementia. Liquid laundry packets should only be used for its intended purpose which is to wash the laundry.
Background on ASTM Liquid Laundry Packet Safety Standard
Companies following the standard must include standardized warnings, precautionary statements and safety icons on the labels of these products; utilize opaque packaging to prevent visibility of the packets from the outside; and utilize package closure designs that challenge the typical strength, mental acuity or dexterity of a young child;
The laundry packet designs in the standard intended to deter access to the detergent include:
• ensure packets withstand the squeezing pressure of a child;
• include a soluble film containing a bitter substance;
• use a film that delays release of liquid contents so the bittering substance takes effect.
The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – www.cleaninginstitute.org) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market. ACI members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers. ACI (www.cleaninginstitute.org) and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.